‘I think right now I’d play anywhere,’ he told the Arsenal website. ‘I’d play in goal just to get minutes, just to be involved in the team.
‘I didn’t mind playing on the wing today, I’ll play anywhere the boss wants me to play, but today it was still an attacking position and I just tried to be as much of a threat as I could.
‘[The EFL Cup] is a chance for us players to show the boss what we can do. The boss wants to rest a few players for the cup and it’s just for us to go out there and show everyone what we can do.’
These were the words of Chuba Akpom after the last round of the EFL cup where Arsenal trumped Nottingham Forest 4-0.
After a stellar pre-season for the Gunners, we all expected Chuba to get more game time this season but for obvious reasons, that has been hard to come by. Chuba was on a scoring spree during the pre-season and it was expected he would continue that when the season starts especially as our main striker Olivier Giroud has been out since the season started.
Step in Akpom we thought but Wenger had other plans and that included signing Lucas Perez and ending up playing Alexis Sanchez up front.
Not just Akpom but Perez too would feel hard done by that decision but oh well, Wenger knows best.
Despite being highly regarded at the Emirates, Akpom has struggled to break through into the Arsenal’s starting XI – although he can take inspiration from team-mate Alex Iwobi’s rise.
Asked what the future holds, Akpom said: ‘Hopefully more games and more minutes.
‘The feeling of just going out there with an Arsenal top on and just playing is the best feeling and that’s the feeling that I want to have, so I’ve just got to keep working hard in training and keep working hard to get out there and get as many minutes as I can.’
Akpom and Iwobi came through the ranks and the fact that Iwobi has cemented a place in the team would prove some inspiration to Akpom and give him some hope that he can make it into the team, someday.
Add to the fact that alot of Nigerian fans on twitter have called for Akpom to join long time pal Iwobi and choose to play for Nigeria.
After turning 21 this week, that has to be one of the big decisions he would make sooner or later.
Loan spells to Brentford, Coventry, Nottingham Forest and most recently to Hull City have seen Akpom get some game time which would have been hard to come by at the Emirates. It seemed like another season where he’ll be out on loan but Wenger decided to keep him so I believe he has him in his plans.
For a player who has been at Arsenal since he was six and doesn’t mind playing in goal just so he can represent Arsenal, I think we have us a loyal one and should do everything to keep him.
With everything he has shown so far, it is only a matter of time he gets his chance, hopefully he shows us the stuff he’s made of when given that chance.
Happy belated birthday Chuba Amechi Akpom.